2020 Past Events

*NEW* Special COVID-19 Relief Grant for Japanese Teaching Materials, December 18, 2020

The Special COVID-19 Relief Grant for Japanese Teaching Materials provides special financial support of up to $1,000 for the purchasing of teaching materials as well as cultural items (origami, calligraphy supplies, etc.) for the purposes of Japanese-language education. While normally we only offer this grant twice per fiscal year (application deadlines: 3/15 & 9/15), we are adding a third grant period in order to help Japanese-language programs during this difficult time.
*Grant applications must be received no later than 1/31/2021.


Virtual Lecture: Giggle without Google, December 15, 2020

Understanding Japanese sense of humor through media
tuesday, december 15
6:00PM-8:00pm (PST)
Register now!

If you want to laugh at Japanese comedy shows like a true native, you should know the cultural context behind each story.  Professionals from Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy (JVTA) in Tokyo will be introducing and analyzing some of Japan's most popular comedy shows, comedians, and entertainers on the air right now. You'll see just how much culture, planning, thought, and context goes into a single head bop and the slightest of side-eyes.  When it comes to comedy, you need more than just language to laugh along with the natives! 


JFF Plus: Online Festival, December 04, 2020

12/04/2020 - 12/13/2020
FREE (No Registration Required)

Click Here to watch the trailer

The Japan Foundation’s first online film festival, JFF Plus will showcase 28 Japanese films ranging from dramas, animation, and documentaries. All titles are available for free to stream. Please go to JFF Plus: Online Festival page to check out schedule and watch films.


Online Lecture: HORSES AND HORSE MEDICINE IN MUROMACHI JAPAN – An Old Manuscript Reveals its Secrets, November 25, 2020

Wednesday, November 25
7:00pm - 8:00pm (Pst)

This event is full.

The horse was transformative for the islands of Japan from ancient times. The horse was a creature of legend, a force of nature to be worshipped, respected, used, and loved. When David Ramey, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, from California traveled to Kyoto, Japan in April of 2019, he was given an old manuscript written in the Muromachi period (1336-1573) from his Japanese friend. It is written in illegible old Japanese script and full of beautiful and mysterious illustrations about horse medicine.


Online Lecture & Demonstration - Bites of Joy, October 16, 2020

friday, october 16
5:30pm (pdt)

This event is full.

It’s World Food Day! Come celebrate with JFLA as we will be hosting an event once again supporting the Onigiri Action campaign, presented by TABLE FOR TWO. This year, we hope to bring you bites of fun and joy by presenting new ideas for onigiri from informative and entertaining presenters. 


Arts & Culture Programs - NOW AVAILABLE!, October 09, 2020

The Japan Foundation organizes programs to introduce various aspects of Japanese arts and culture all over the world. In addition, it promotes networking and human resources development in arts and cultural fields by interactive collaboration/co-production, and through dispatching and invitation of specialists.

Click below to download the online application forms and guidelines.


This program is designed to provide financial support for museums and art institutions overseas that organize exhibitions introducing Japanese art and culture to audiences overseas. In addition, this program is designed to support overseas international exhibitions such as biennials/triennials introducing Japanese artists and their works.
More Information>


This program is designed to provide partial financial support for overseas publishers intending to translate and/or publish books originally written in Japanese. The program aims to foster better understanding of Japan by encouraging overseas publishers to translate and publish Japanese books. The grant covers part of the translation cost and/or publishing costs (e.g. costs for paper, typesetting, printing and binding). Applicants may apply for one of the following categories: “translation only” “publication only” or “translation and publication.”
More Information>


This program aims to support the development of professionals specializing in the study of Japanese visual arts by providing an opportunity for curators and researchers from abroad to conduct research in Japan, and by so doing, promote the study of the field and the introduction of Japanese art overseas. This fellowship is implemented by the Japan Foundation with generous funding from the Ishibashi Foundation.
More Information>

Performing Arts Japan 2021-2022, August 20, 2020

Call for Applications
Deadline: November 2, 2020

Application for Performing Arts Japan (PAJ) touring and collaboratrion grants for the 2021 – 2022 fiscal year is now open. Application deadline is 5:00 p.m. EST, November 2, 2020.


yo nakamura's the hit! parade

thursday, july 23, 8PM (PDT)
ON jfla's youtube channel
free admission
**note** Q&A session and after party through zoom will follow after the performance. 

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles is pleased to announce that we will be delivering a Japanese dance performance directly to your room, virtually! Yo Nakamura, who is a marvelous contemporary dancer/choreographer, will be performing to challenge your body and mind. 

RSVP required to attend a Q&A session and after party.



nobuo anzai: still lifes and folktales

In accordance with LA County guidelines, all visitors aged 2 and older will be required to wear face masks.

Still Lifes and Folktales is a continuing survey of artist Nobuo Anzai presented by The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles with selected works from his most recent works from “Childhood Memories,” and his coffee paintings.


Virtual Karate Exercise at Lunchtime, July 16, 2020

Every three weeks on wednesday
12:30pm (1 session, 15min)

Whether at work or at home, let's refresh yourself for 15 minutes on your lunchtime together with us!  Karate Exercise will be offered via JFLA Facebook LIVE!
World class instructors from Kyokushin Karate of Los Angeles will give you a set of beginner’s level exercises from their basic movement with their English instruction. 
There will be one 15-minute session starting at 12:30pm.  Just go to JFLA's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/JFLALC).  Achieve the unity of body and spirit!


Virtual Lecture Series: The Who's Who of Japanese Deities, July 16, 2020

July 16, 30, August 13, 27
7:00-7:30PM (PT)
Lecture videos are available on our YouTube channel.

Did you know that the famous Laughing Buddha is actually not a Buddha at all or that the meditative Buddha is only one type among a multitude? This digital lecture series will serve as an introduction not only to the categories of Buddhist deity, but to the iconography that will allow laypeople to identify specific figures.
There are four lectures in this series; Lecture 1 (July 16) will be about Celestial Beings, Lecture 2 (July 30) Wisdom Kings, Lecture 3 (August 13) Bodhisattvas, and Lecture 4 (August 27) Buddhas.
All lecture videos are available on our YouTube channel.  You can also take the self-study Quiz after watching the video!


Tokyo Dance Express, June 12, 2020

june - July
On JFLA's facebook & YouTube channel

During June and July, we will be delivering Japanese contemporary dance performance directly to your room virtually! Yo Nakamura, a marvelous contemporary dancer/choreographer, will be presenting a series of various approaches to your body and mind. In each performance, she will be doing different dances at different locations.  


#EdamameChamp JFLA CUP, May 30, 2020

Online event 
Saturday, May 30, 2020  
2:00PM (PDT) ..

#EdamameChamp is an annual chopstick skill competition to promote healthy ways of eating through Japanese cuisine and to also raise funds to provide food education programs to children. This year, The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles is happy to announce our first online #EdamameChamp event, which will be hosted with TABLE FOR TWO USA.


#みんなでがんばりマスク Project!, May 06, 2020

May 1 - 31

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles (JFLA) is collaborating with American Assocation of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) for a month long project on Instagram to unite and support Japanese language learners from the US and Beyond! It is called #みんなでがんばりマスク project and we hope to have as much Japanese language learners to participate! The project goal is to fill the JFLA Instagram in May with posts that reflect at least one of the following themes: hope, community, appreciation, and encouragement!

For information on how to participate, click on the following link:

Japanese Conversation Cafe: Tea Time, March 28, 2020

Saturday, March 28


Due to growing public health concerns, we have decided to cancel this event.  We will announce the next Tea Time in the near future once we have determined a date. 
Our popular "Tea Time", conversation cafe is coming back!  This time, we will have it on Saturday morning!  Come enjoy Japanese snacks and tea while you chat with native Japanese speakers. All levels are welcome! Japanese language experience is not necessary—this event is open to everyone, ages 18 and up! 


JFLA COVID-19 Response, March 19, 2020

Following recommendations from the City of Los Angeles, the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles is now closed temporarily to the public until further notice. All public programs and events we planned to host at our location in mid-Wilshire have been canceled at this time. Our JF Nihongo Japanese Language Courses have been moved online for the rest of the current winter term.

We are currently exploring ways for you to enjoy our vast resources of Japanese language and culture virtually, and we will be sure to let you know about these initiatives.

JFLA will continue to monitor the situation and assess the need to continue the closure of our public spaces and will notify you immediately of any updates by email, website, and through our social media platforms. If you have any specific inquiries during this time, please feel free to contact us using the form at the following link: https://www.jflalc.org/contact. We look forward to welcoming you back to JFLA soon.

Hideki Hara

Free Japanese Cinema Screening, March 11, 2020

The Wonderland
(115mins, 2019)

Directed by Keiichi Hara

Wednesday, March 11@7PM
Free Admission, NO Registration REQUIRED

Akane is a shy, young girl. On the day before her birthday, Akane meets the mysterious and fabled alchemist Hippocrates along with his apprentice Pipo who bring her through a basement and into a fantastical world full of magic and color. He reveals that this world is in danger, and as the "Green Goddess" it is her destiny and responsibility to save this world.


Bilingual Yoga at Lunchtime, March 04, 2020

Wednesday, March 4
(2 sessions, 20min/ session)

Wellness Wednesdays: We offer Wellness programs on Wednesday at lunchtime!
March 4 is Yoga day!  In this program, no need to change clothes or use a yoga mat; you will be seated in a chair receiving relaxing instruction from a bilingual (English and Japanese) instructor. Learn simple Japanese phrases during the instruction and stretch your mind as well as your body.
There will be two free sessions beginning at 12:30pm and 1:00pm.  No reservation necessary, all are welcome.


Free Japanese Cinema Screening, February 26, 2020


 (80mins, 2018)

Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto


Wednesday, February 26@7PM
Free Admission, NO Registration REQUIRED

*This film contains some adult material. Viewer discretion is advised.

The first samurai period film from Shinya Tsukamoto who has captured international attention with Tetsuo The Iron Man and Fires on the Plain among others. Questions about life and death are brought into the open through ronin earnestly living in a farming village during the turbulent times of the late Edo period.


Tabaimo & Maki Morishita: Fruits borne out of rust, February 20, 2020

631 W. 2ND ST., LOS ANGELES, CA 90012)
Thursday, February 20 - Sunday, February 23
Tickets: $11/$18/$22


Isolation, contagion and instability: Fruits borne out of rust, conceived of and directed by internationally known Japanese visual artist Tabaimo, uses drawings, video installations and live music to probe these unsettling themes that lurk beneath daily existence. Her intricate animations transform the stage, while Maki Morishita’s subtle yet dynamic choreography enhances Tabaimo's peculiar and introspective world.

This tour is supported by The Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program.

Master Class: Hand Embroidery with Shizuka Kusano & Trunk Show, February 15, 2020

Craft Contemporary
(5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036)
Saturday, February 15 & Sunday, February 16

Workshop is sold out

Work one-on-one with Shizuka Kusano, one of Japan’s most well-known kimono embroidery artists, to make a compact mirror cover using traditional Japanese embroidery techniques.  Craft Contemporary Shop hosts a special trunk show by Shizuka Kusano as well. It is a rare opportunity to shop her handmade items. 


Melodies of Shining Silk: Japanese Embroidery by Shizuka Kusano, February 14, 2020


FEBRUARY 15 - March 21, 2020
Monday-Friday 10am-7pm, Saturday 12-5pm
Closed on Sundays


Shizuka Kusano, one of the most admired and recognized textile artists in Japan today, showcases contemporary art pieces based on 1500 year-old traditional embroideries inspired by Japanese poetry, literature and art.


Free Japanese Cinema Screening, February 12, 2020


 (70mins, 2018)

Directed by Kaku Arakawa


Wednesday, February 12 @7PM
Free Admission, NO Registration REQUIRED

This program goes behind the scenes over two years as Miyazaki overcomes struggles to create his short film using CGI.


Be a Hollywood Star in Japanese!: Voice Acting Workshop, February 04, 2020

tuESDAY, february 4, 2020

Have you ever imagined being a Japanese voice actor, doing voice-over of Hollywood stars’ lines?  We will give you a chance to challenge yourself in the world of voice acting!  In this exciting workshop, professionals from Japan Visualmedia Translation Academy (JVTA) will instruct you to talk like actors using scenes from popular Hollywood movies.  All levels are welcome!


Samurai Acting Workshop, January 28, 2020

Challenge yourself in a sword fight performance that you’ve seen in Samurai movies and on stage.  Japanese actor group “Burai” will be your instructor and they will be teaching you basic samurai movements, how to use the sword, and speech manners.  All participants will perform sword fighting while exchanging dramatic lines in Japanese. No language or acting experience is necessary.  


Free Japanese Cinema Screening, January 22, 2020

Perfect Revolution

 (117mins, 2017)

Directed by Jumpei Matsumoto


Wednesday, January 22 @7PM
Free Admission, NO Registration REQUIRED

A romantic film based on the true story of activist, Yoshihiko Kumashino, who raises awareness of the sexuality of disabled people through lecturing and event activities. The film is written and directed by Jumpei Matsumoto.


Under a Mushroom Cloud Film Festival, January 19, 2020

Nagasaki: Memories of My Son (2015)
In This Corner of the World (2016)
The Face of Jizo (2004)

Sunday, January 19
11AM   Nagasaki: Memories of My Son

1:30PM   In This Corner of the World
4PM   The Face of Jizo

Venue: Japanese American National Museum (100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles)
Free (Museum Admission Required), RSVP REQUIRED

Under a Mushroom Cloud: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Atomic Bomb exhibition, currently on view at JANM, JFLA and JANM will screen world acclaimed films related to the atomic bombs. These films tell the story of people who were under the two mushroom clouds. JANM encourages the public to see the films and share these stories of resilience, love, and hopes for peace.


Workshop: Create Your Own Kanji & Calligraphy, January 15, 2020

wednesday, January 15

Be creative and become familiar with Kanji and Japanese calligraphy!  This workshop is for all who are interested in writing Kanji and learning about Japanese calligraphy!  You will learn various types of Kanji formations and the concept of radicals.  You will also learn how to write Japanese calligraphy (Shodo) with correct posture, proper way of holding an ink brush, and right stroke orders.  Let's write your own Kanji in calligraphy form on washi paper!


Cinema Kabuki: Triple Lion Dance & The Courtesan Akoya, January 11, 2020

Triple Lion Dance & The Courtesan Akoya

Saturday, January 11
@2PM Triple Lion Dance (Renjishi / 連獅子)

@4PM The Courtesan Akoya (Akoya / 阿古屋)

Free Admission, Registration REQUIRED

Kabuki Theatre, with origins dating back to the 1600s, has remained steeped in tradition while constantly innovating. Live productions, featuring some of today’s greatest Kabuki stars, are now being filmed with the highest resolution cameras for screening in theatres around the world on state-of-the-art digital projection systems and six-channel sound.


Free Japanese Cinema Screening, January 08, 2020

Millennium Actress

 (87mins, 2001)

Directed by Satoshi Kon


Wednesday, January 8 @7PM
Free Admission, NO Registration REQUIRED


Experience the gorgeous new restoration of what many believe to be Satoshi Kon’s (Perfect Blue, Paprika) greatest work. Boasting countless awards, including the Grand Prize in the Japan Agency of Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival, which it shared with Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away.


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5700 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90036



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